Through three albums, Coheed and Cambria have formulated the perfect combination of alternative and progressive rock. Sure, these guys are all young and were probably raised on a steady diet of punk music and proggers like Rush and Dream Theater while they were growing up, and these probable influences are readily apparent on their latest, the concept opus Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes of Madness . This is about as infectious as modern music gets, as the music here is filled with upbeat arrangements, killer musicianship, memorable & super melodic hooks, and moments of orchestral atmosphere.
While the vocals of Claudio Sanchez still remind a little of Geddy Lee, it's not overbearing by any means. Even though the stellar musicianship is one of the highlights of the album, it's Sanchez' melodic and endearing delivery that really carries thing here. The gorgeous "Always & Never", a lush acoustic piece, sees Sanchez crooning like Phil Collins from the Genesis classic Wind and Wuthering, while on "Apollo 1: The Writing Writer" he will instantly appeal to any fan of modern alternative or emo styled rock. The intricate and crunchy guitars of Travis Stever and Sanchez drive the heavy prog rock of "Welcome Home", a song that also features huge orchestral keyboards. "Wake Up" is simply a great pop ballad, with sweeping strings and Sanchez' tender vocals, and the four-part "Willing Well" suite is simply a marvel of progressive rock and metal styles. Here, drummer Joshua Eppard and bassist Michael Todd remind you that are also killer players as well, as they dig into some intense rhythms, with Todd blowing through some sick unison lines with Stever that will have fans of Zero Hour, Dream Theater, and Twisted into Form doing a double take.
Sure, this is commercial stuff, but there's a hell of a lot more to offer here than just about any other band in the mainstream right now. Along with The Mars Volta, Coheed and Cambria are offering listeners modern sounds with a 70's prog rock vibe, and that is pretty damn cool if you ask me.
1. Keeping The Blade
2. Always & Never
3. Welcome Home
4. Ten Speed (Of God's Blood & Burial)
5. Crossing The Frame
6. Apollo I : The Writing Writer
7. Once Upon Your Dead Body
8. Wake Up
9. The Suffering
10. The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court
11. Mother May I
12. The Willing Well I: Fuel for the Feeding End
13. The Willing Well II: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness
14. The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth
15. The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut